The 2004 Stockholm Convention, which bans agricultural use of DDT, has been ratified by 160 countries. Despite the ban, some countries, including India and North Korea, continue to use DDT for agriculture.
Though the Stockholm Convention bans agricultural use of DDT, it allows the use of DDT for malaria control. There are many other methods to prevent malaria, but proponents of DDT use argue that it is sometimes the most effecive option. In 2008, twelve countries used DDT as part of their anti-malaria measures. Using DDT to prevent malaria is a controversial topic. No one doubts the toxicity of DDT, but malaria kills almost a million people a year, most of whom are young children.
The World Health Organization’s stance is that it is still sometimes necessary to use DDT, but that more sustainable altnernatives should be developed as quickly as possible. WHO is working to phase out DDT use by the early 2020s.
Africa is another country that still uses DDT. They too need to use it to help reduce malaria in certain areas. Since they began using DDT again they have seen a significant drop in malaria cases. Coincidentally, one of my college professors got malaria while doing research in Africa several years ago.
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